Bringing Art to the World
Edited by Judith Levine
He never doubted that his vocation was art. He never wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer. He started by winning a prize for drawing Spring flowers at age 6, and then he painted Peruvian heroes during elementary school. Now, at age 45, his art travels with him, and he encourages others to do the same.
Raúl Tolentino is convinced that "Every artist creates art to be exhibited. The artist wants his work to be seen by as many people as possible. If his work is well appreciated, it is even better, in order to expand the art and take his work to other countries, since traveling is expensive. I think a good artist is the one who makes a good proposal and tries to have it displayed in most of the world. "
Tolentino sees no obstacles that can be overcome in order to be an artist. "I think you can, and I'm an example of that. Throughout my life I have been sustained through art. As an artist in a developing country, I have faith that you can do it, it is quite difficult and complicated, but it is not impossible. "
Tolentino was interviewed during his recent December 2016 visit to Maryland. The artist was exhibiting some of his pieces at Artomatic for second consecutive year. He has developed projects, as a representative of TLAL in Peru, that encourage new generations of artists to show their work in the United States, and for TLAL members to exhibit their works in South America. Please, watch this short video to learn more about it.
This Peruvian artist applies his acrylics and oils with brushes and spatulas, to offer a theme "that is relative to my moods, the place where I am, and the situation I go through at the moment I paint. In general, I describe my work as something very personal. I seek to give it a characteristic essence, "he says.
Tolentino, on his website divides his work into three series,: Abstract Art, Ethnic Impressionism and Figurative Art. His abstracts resemble tangled ribbons in colorful and harmonious compositions. Ethnic impressionism is composed of groups of Andean women with the long braids, white hats and colorful garments typical of the sierra of Peru. Finally, his figurative work is comprised mostly of still life paintings in which fruits in vivid colors predominate.
Tolentino states that observing his works in restrospective allows him to appreciate the different stages of his life. He confessed having been influenced by Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, and Italian Sculptor Michelangelo. "With my work I try to transmit some emotion, I think that a work of art must have a connection with the viewer, from that point on, a dialogue can be generated and feelings can be transmitted," he emphasizes.
Tolentino has always shown his paintings in Peru and travels to other countries to exhibit his artworks. Watch the following video to experience his travels and his paintings.
Tolentino says about the situation of Latino American artists. "I think there is little support for artists on the part of government authorities. In my case, I've been traveling to the United States for more than 15 years and it's always been paid for on my own. I have never been subsidized and I have not felt support from the government. "
Tolentino believes that the government should enter into agreements with private companies to encourage artists to travel to other countries to share their artworks. He also believes that incentives should be given to companies that support art, through the reduction of taxes.